The title of the story is Plague 99 and it has been written by Jean Ure.
The story takes place in London, England in the 20th century, 1999.
The characters in the book belong to different social groups, I think. Because the book says in the introduction to the story: ‘How do these very different people continue to exist...’.
The background is of no big importance for the story, in fact it could have taken place in another town in another country. Because the city has no influence in the story but it could not happen in a poor city/ village because it is a little bit too modern for a poor city/ village.
The genre of the story is apocalyptic/gothic novel because the novel tells us a story about how the world how we know it may be totally destroyed.
I think the story isn’t realistic because it couldn’t happen that a whole big city is infected with a epidemic like this. And that nobody did anything to destroy it, that is impossible, I think.
The main character of this novel is Fran, according to her mum she is a ‘home body’ - not bold or adventurous, certainly not the stuff from which heroines were made from. She thinks she is nothing without Harry. Harry is a girlfriend of Fran. They know each other since kindergarten. Harry is an independent girl, she can live on her own. Shahid isn’t bothered by anything, he isn’t scared either. But he thinks a lot.
The parents of these kids are minor characters, but there isn’t said enough about them to know their characteristics.
If it were possible I would like to get to know Harry before the plague because I think she is kind. There is no character I would prefer not to meet.
Summary: Fran has spent four weeks in a Stone Age camp, completely isolated from the rest of the world, no TV, no papers, no radio etc.. When she came back, it was very quiet in London. She doesn’t know what has happened. (There had broken out a lethal disease). She uses a sweater as a mask when she reaches her house. Inside she found a letter of her mum. Both parents have died of the plague. The mother of Harry is also dead and Harry has lost touch with reality. Fran reads Harry’s diary, in it she reads everything about the epidemic and Harry’s mother.
Fran’s main worry is to go out of the house and eat something but she has to look after Harry because she becomes crazy. They finally go to Fran’s house for some food.
During their walk they are attacked by a gang of six little boys but
Harry defends herself and Fran with a big kitchen knife.
One day, Shahid Kahn’s father died. So Shahid has to go to his brother
who lives in the north of London.
Shahid knows Harry and Fran from school but he has never liked them. But now Fran invites him to come to her house for some food. At her house, they eat plenty of food and decide to go to Shahid’s brother, who owns a wholesale food business.
On the way, they find a bike and go farther by bike. On the way they see people have lit a bonfire and are having a party. they don’t go to the party because Shahid said it is maybe dangerous..
They sleep in a shop and the next day, Fran discovers that Shahid has the disease and she takes care of him. Harriet is so crazy that she went away to the party.
To kill the time, Fran has started a diary to inform the posterity about what she has been through and nurses Shahid. Shahid shows definite signs of recovery.
Shahid is well and they decide to go to Barnet (Shahid’s brother house). But it is burned out.
in the end they decide to go to Cornwall where Fran’s grandmother lives.
There is an open ending.
The title is well-chosen, the first word (plague) is just what it is about, the novel tells us about a terrible plague. It’s most acceptable for me that 99 stands for 1999 because it couldn’t be 1899 or 2099 because it is or too modern or too old-fashioned.
I enjoyed reading the story but sometimes it is a little bit too detailed. I never read a story like this but the film ‘Deep Impact’ looks a little bit like it but now it isn’t a meteorite but a disease that kills a lot of people. I can recommend this story to everybody because it is interesting to read it. I have learn how life will change when there happens a disaster like this.
Optional assignment 1: Article
A horrible plague in the 20th century.
In the book ‘Plague 99’ written by Jean Ure you can read about a horrible plague in the year 1999. It’s about Fran, a girl who is very unknown with the world, Harry, an independent girl and girlfriend of Fran. and Shahid, a lazy boy who doesn’t want to do anything for somebody else. They were before the plague like that but during the plague they have changed. Fran becomes a very sly girl and knows answers at every question, Harry who was very sly, becomes crazy and went away, Shahid isn’t lazy anymore but sometimes he is a little bit jealous.
So you can see how people change when a horrible disaster happens, Then the other side of you comes up. When you were a lazy, egoist man or something like that you may be become a very helpful person. That is what you can read in this story.
It is very well explained by Jean Ure who has written since she was fifteen.
She has described this plague very realistic as if she has been through it. It is a very good book, 150 pages in suspense of what will happen.